Former player of the year Matty Forde thinks some of Wexford’s footballers were initially intimidated by new manager, Paul Galvin.
Forde, who served as forwards coach alongside Galvin for a brief spell, says that even the more experienced squad members struggled to come to terms with the Kerry great’s arrival, but had begun to embrace his methods before the season was called to a premature halt.
Forde confirmed that he was unable to remain alongside Galvin due to the time pressures of his job, but that he believes the four-time All-Ireland winner was proving hugely successful in his debut managerial season.
“Definitely it was a bit of a shock. I would say definitely the first few nights at training there literally wasn’t a word,” said Forde, who won an All Star in 2004.
“He’s an intimidating sort of a character if you don’t know him. When you get to know him he is a great fella.
"He has a great sense of humour and is a great character. He really thinks about his football.
“But definitely guys were intimated. Even the longer serving fellas, literally you’d hear a pin drop at training any night. Then the beard and his demeanour kind of makes him look a bit intimidating, but he’s very very nice fella.”
The early months of Galvin’s tenure were marked by the withdrawal of some players from the panel, while Forde also left Galvin’s backroom team.
According to the Kilanerin–Ballyfad player, speaking with Mick and Mc's GAA Football podcast, the incidents were unrelated.
“At the time I was driving one of the government ministers, who is actually from my own club. I was working week on, week off. Your week-on work you are on 24-7; you are doing 80-odd hours a week.
"I had explained this to Paul and said that I’d definitely try it. I said, ‘If it’s not working I will step away’.
“For the first ten weeks I was there I was literally only there every other week. I was the one that decided to go very early on.
"I rang Paul and he was in full agreement. I couldn’t be there telling forwards what to do, expecting a lot of work out of them, and them turning round to me saying ‘you’re only here half the time’.
"I said before that arises I’d nip it in the bud. Paul was absolutely fine with it. We left on very good terms.
“Then a couple of players left. I am not 100 per cent sure what happened there, but I got a call from a paper about three days after the three guys left on their own accord.
"They had put two and two together and got 16, it was literally nothing to do with it. I started laughing but it wasn’t a laughing matter. But Paul picked things up since that and things had been going pretty well before everything went pear shaped with the virus.”